Orlando, Fla. — Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd.'s first U.S. manufacturing operation, in San Antonio, is focusing on medium- and large-tonnage injection molding machines, a key focus for the Japanese company in North America, company officials said at NPE2018.
Sumio Tanaka, who is in charge of Nissei's corporate planning department, said the company initially plans to assemble hybrid injection molding machines in San Antonio with clamping forces from 500-1,300 tons, Tanaka said. But he said the plant has the ability — including enough crane capacity — to build much larger presses.
"In the future, we will make a 3,000-ton [injection press] here," Tanaka said at NPE2018, May 7-11 in Orlando.
Nissei President Hozumi Yoda said the big machines are aimed at the automotive market.
"Currently, that's the Engel, and the KraussMaffei and the Cincinnati Milacron [presses]. So, we will join that market with made-in-the-USA machines," he said at Nissei's booth.
"We think U.S. users are appreciating our hybrid machines. So, we are confident that by making a large machine here, they should be accepted, and we could get the market in the United States," Yoda said.
Tanaka said Nissei has a long-term strategy for the Texas factory. Nissei has about 10 percent total market share in the United States, but half of that for large machines.
"We're thinking we may increase our share of the large machines," he said. "We will try to make medium and large machines in the U.S. factory."
The capability to make larger injection presses in North America — where they will be sold — was a big reason to set up the U.S. factory, he said. The plant also has warehouse space and a technical center for customers with demonstration presses for testing of molds and materials.
During NPE, several injection molding machine makers said the strong global economy right now is making it harder to get some components, and that stretches out lead times. Tanaka said that was a key consideration for U.S. manufacturing by Nissei leaders.
"The most important point is lead time," Tanaka said. "So, that's why we can have stock to supply in the United States. That way we can shorten the lead time to the customer."